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Journal Article

Forces directing germ-band extension in Drosophila embryos.


Wolf,  Fred
Research Group Theoretical Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Kong, D., Wolf, F., & Großhans, J. (2017). Forces directing germ-band extension in Drosophila embryos. Mechanisms of Development, 144(Pt. A), 11-22. doi:10.1016/j.mod.2016.12.001.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-EB78-6
Body axis elongation by convergent extension is a conserved developmental process found in all metazoans. Drosophila embryonic germ-band extension is an important morphogenetic process during embryogenesis, by which the length of the germ-band is more than doubled along the anterior-posterior axis. This lengthening is achieved by typical convergent extension, i.e. narrowing the lateral epidermis along the dorsal-ventral axis and simultaneous extension along the anterior-posterior axis. Germ-band extension is largely driven by cell intercalation, whose directionality is determined by the planar polarity of the tissue and ultimately by the anterior-posterior patterning system. In addition, extrinsic tensile forces originating from the invaginating endoderm induce cell shape changes, which transiently contribute to germ-band extension. Here, we review recent progress in understanding of the role of mechanical forces in germ-band extension.